When the doctor taps your knee and it suddenly jerks, you don’t get upset with your leg for jumping out of control. Why? Because in that moment, you realize your temporary jumpy experience is an involuntary physical reaction.
But, how do you view your emotional reactions when they start jerking you around? Not only are they hard on you, but once they’re done, you’re then hard on yourself with a negative reaction to your first reaction. Here’s how to release and relax yourself from these runaway self-wrecking reactions.
To begin with, understand that you are not your own reactions, anymore than the burst of a flashing skyrocket is the night sky it temporarily illuminates. And yet, it really does feel that way. Let’s find out why.
Painful reactions to life events are just mechanical, emotional knee jerks. They only become more than a package from the past when you say “I” to the first reaction. This misplaced identification may feel like you, but it’s not. And now you can learn this rescuing fact for yourself.
Each time you feel a reaction about to take you over, just relax from yourself. Let that reaction be there, within you, without your involvement. Don’t say “I” to it.
This conscious new action releases the reaction to complete its life, instead of stealing yours. It soon fades and you’re free. So, relax. And release yourself.
The next time you feel yourself starting to become frustrated, angry or scared, do your best to confirm this vital insight: Negative emotions cannot exist without having something to blame for their punishing presence.
The clearer for yourself you can make this spiritual fact — about the dualistic nature of spiritual weakness — the better prepared you’ll be to take your next step toward higher spiritual strength. Your discovery leads you to this totally new action. Whatever it takes, don’t express that surfacing irritation by naming or blaming anything outside of you as being its cause.
Even if you have to remove yourself physically from the developing situation, then do it. Find some way to temporarily isolate yourself — along with your smoldering emotional state. Please note: Isolate yourself along with your agitation.
If it helps to make what appears to be a bitter pill taste better, think of these inner-trials as the pause that spiritually strengthens, for a new strength is exactly what you’ll win for yourself each time you elect to work with this step.
Voluntarily isolating yourself along with your irritated thoughts and feelings doesn’t mean cutting them off; nor does it mean that you should pretend that you’re not on fire. Suppression of these weak inner states is just the opposite of angrily expressing them, and every bit as harmful. Don’t express — or suppress — any negative state. Besides, either one of these opposite approaches always produces the same results; nothing changes except for what’s being blamed. Choosing to not blame lifts you above both of these losing choices.
Your conscious non-action turns you into the objective witness of what are your own superheated emotions. And from the safety of this higher awareness you see about yourself what you couldn’t see before because of all the inner fire and smoke. Your discoveries empower you to cancel the real cause of your inner combustibility. Not only is your self-command restored, but it’s heightened. Each discovery of an unseen weakness heralds the coming of a greater spiritual strength.